ABOUT

Combining the chaotic lines of urban culture with distressed organic materials, Matt Durant’s mixed media works bring eco sensibility to images of abstractions & the modern metropolis. His dynamic, interdisciplinary style draws from music, sculpture and action painting.

Durant graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2001, where he studied an array of medium, his later years focusing woodworking, video, and audio sculpture. This training would later come to inform his painting; his energetic op-art patterns resemble a tangle of furiously oscillating sinusoidal waves. Years of work as a horticulturalist influence his choice of materials, which favour salvaged wood and found objects that would otherwise have been discard. In utilizing so-called refuse, Durant probes ecological themes while drawing inspiration from the timeworn character of a derelict picnic table or a second hand film gels book, for example. “I like to honour what’s already there, to glorify it,” says the artist.

Starting from the natural grain, knots and crags of wood, Durant builds a richly textured surface. He applies his own stains and diluted paints—both oil and acrylic—to fibrous wood slabs in energetic, gestural strokes. Hands, brushes, palette knives and found objects are the vehicles in the drip-and-splatter technique, which relies on both conscious direction and happy accident. This Abstract Expressionist foundation is punctuated with a hard, graphic line, applied with a unique squirting technique. The resulting silhouettes, often reminiscent of urban skylines, resembles stylized graffiti. The contrast between this bold stencil and the underlying wood grain suggests themes of urban sprawl and deforestation, decay and nostalgia.

 

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SELECTED GROUP & SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015   Riverdale Art Walk
2014   Solo Exhibition “ALTERNATE ENDINGS”, Sire Gallery, Toronto, ON
2014   Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto, ON
2013   Solo Exhibition “RESILIENCE”, Goodfellas Gallery, Toronto ON
2013   Extremely Loud, Goodfellas Gallery, Toronto, ON
2012   7 Grams, Toronto, ON
2010   Modern Design, Rouge Concept Gallery, Toronto, ON
2009   Harvest, Rouge Concept Gallery, Toronto, ON
2009   In The Art, Arta Gallery, Distillery District, Toronto, ON
2008   Audio Installation, Median Contemporary Gallery Launch, Toronto, ON
2008   Audio Installation, Basement Media Center Launch, Toronto, ON
2008   Nuit Blanche, Median Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, ON
2007   Local 416, Edward Day Gallery, Toronto, ON
2007   Festival International Montréal en Arts, Montreal, QC.
2007   Driven To Abstraction, Eastern Front Gallery, Toronto, ON
2007   Bio_Logic, Bentfest, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, NY, NY, U.S.A.
2006   One Inch Punch, Les Robots, Lennox Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2005   Matt Durant: Black, White. Revolution Sound, Toronto, ON.
2004   Solo Exhibition “ON SECOND THOUGHT”, Hangman Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2004   RAW Select, Eastern Front Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2004   Wet Paint, Hangman Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2004   The Red Show, Eastern Front Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2003   Matt Durant: Untitled Works, XIT Designs, Toronto, ON.
2002   Sign Waves – Phase One, Art System, Toronto, ON.
1999   One Body, OCAD Gallery, Toronto, ON.
1998   Strange Sights, Clown & Bard, Prague, Czech Republic.